DENVER, N.M., Oct. 12 — The University of New Mexico issued the

following news release:

The University of New Mexico Lobos, the back-to-back defending

Mountain West Conference champions, have been selected third in the

preseason media poll released by the league on Tuesday afternoon.

Along with the poll, the conference released its preseason

all-conference teams and honorees. Dairese Gary was named to the

preseason all-conference team, along with Drew Gordon who picked up

Newcomer of the Year honors.

The Lobos garnered three first-place votes and 214 points from a

panel of 30 media members. Last year, despite being picked fifth in

the preseason poll, the Lobos won their second consecutive Mountain

West title with a 14-2 league record, winning their final 14

conference games. The team went on to post a school record 30 wins,

going 30-5 for the season and winning an

NCAA Tournament game for the first

time in 11 years.

The program reached other heights, highlighted by a No. 8

national ranking and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Last year

the Lobos had four players honored by the conference in the

postseason, including Darington Hobson winning Player of the Year

honors, and head coach Steve Alford garnering his second straight

Coach of the Year award.

In talking about this year’s team at the Mountain West media

days, Alford alluded to his two starters from last year in the

graduated Roman Martinez and NBA-bound Darington Hobson. “Those are

two guys that are hard to replace, but we have two transfers that

are going to have to step up in a hurry.” Those transfers are

Emmanuel Negedu from Tennessee and Drew Gordon from UCLA, who join

three starters and six letterwinners from last year’s 30-5


“Emmanuel Negedu from Tennessee and Drew Gordon from UCLA, who

becomes eligible six games before league play, these are two

transfers that are going to have to make an immediate impact. Nine

of our 13 players are freshmen or sophomores, so our young guys are

going to have to develop quickly,” said Alford.

Gordon was named the preseason Newcomer of the Year. Gordon

averaged 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds for UCLA last season in the

first semester over six games before transferring to New Mexico. He

also played in 34 of UCLA’s 35 games as a freshman.

Drew Gordon was named Preseason Newcomer of the Year

One guy who has already developed is Gary, from Elkhart, Ind.

The lone senior averaged 13.3 points and 3.9 assists per game, and

was named both first team All-Mountain West and All-MWC Defensive

Team. Gary was at his best when it mattered most, averaging 19.8

points per game over the final seven contests, including four

postseason games.

“As long as I have Dairese Gary at every jump ball, we are going

to be in games,” said Alford. “He’s just one of those special guys.

He can make the game ugly and win, he can make a game pretty and

win but as long as he is there at the tip we feel very confident

that we have a chance.”

Four seniors and a sophomore earned preseason All-Conference

honors, and UNM’s Dairese Gary was one of three guards, joining

BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, who was the preseason Player of the Year,

and Tre’Von Willis of UNLV. San Diego State had a pair of forwards

honored on the all-conference in Kawhi Leonard and Malcolm Thomas.

BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth was named preseason Freshman of the


The Lobos will open exhibition play on Wednesday, November 3 at

7 p.m. against Eastern New Mexico in the renovated Pit. The Lobos

will host an open house on Monday, November 1. The team will

practice from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., with the venue open for students

at 2:30 and for non-students at 3:30 p.m. The open house will begin

at 5 p.m., and later that night the legendary Bobby Knight will be

speaking at the Embassy Suites hotel with a portion of the proceeds

to benefit the University Libraries. For any query with respect to

this article or any other content requirement, please contact

Editor at htsyndication@hindustantimes.com